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Cryptocurrencies are seen on a website that tracks the value of initial coin offerings (ICO)   © Reuters
FT Confidential Research

Southeast Asia ready to embrace blockchain

Central banks are wary of cryptocurrencies but keen on the underlying technology

| Vietnam
  • Southeast Asian central banks have a cautious stance on the rise of cryptocurrencies but adoption of the underlying technology, blockchain, appears inevitable.
  • Speculative investment in cryptocurrencies doesn't pose systemic risks but greater regulatory scrutiny is likely.
  • The need for the interoperability of customized blockchain platforms is likely to drive the creation of a universal platform under the control of central banks.

While central banks in Southeast Asia are receptive to new payment systems from financial technology start-ups, most are cautious when dealing with the rise of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether.

For central banks, one problem is that they have no influence on the creation and circulation of such cryptocurrencies. Another is that global cryptocurrency trade does not acknowledge domestic statutes governing financial transactions, particularly those regarding consumer declaration and money laundering.

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